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Beauty therapist, Skin specialist, Senior therapist and Paramedical therapist, which title is politically correct in the world of qualifications and what should we technically be calling ourselves?

The confusion stems from the initial qualification we receive post beauty school and the further education we become trained in through product houses and educational workshops.

A Beauty Therapist (BT) is qualified as said title and should be called such.

“Any other non-accredited course, whilst great for education, do not change your qualification. A beauty therapist can do many course to upgrade their knowledge, but they still remain a Beauty Therapist”, shares Jennifer Hookham of The Dermal Health Alliance and Governance Officer for ASDC.

Once a BT furthers their education and travels down the advanced skin route being versed in Peels, Micro Needling, Vascular and Leg Vein removal, ‘for those with lots of experience in this field, they are often referred to as Senior Aestheticians or Senior Beauty Therapists’ says Jennifer.

Skin Specialists come by way of a BT that has particular focus on living, breathing and treating the skin, and chooses to do so over performing other treatments. When salons decided to bank on the treatment of facials alone, the therapist started to become specialists rather than generalists, hence the term developed.

Jennifer provides great insight into the pathway from BT into transitioning into the dermal world. “The next qualification is the Advanced Diploma in Cosmetic Dermal Science, which gives the correct title of Dermal Therapist (DT) to its graduates. Also, the Bachelor qualifies Dermals come out with Dermal Therapist as their title.”

A Dermal Clinician, however, refers to Bachelor qualified DT, as being full members of the ASDC.

The term Paramedical Therapists is a little more tricky to define and provide a black and white perspective to. Originally produced in the 90’s, the term stems from Paramedics, being ‘a completely separate qualification in emergency medicine, not beauty therapy’ says Jennifer.

Jennifers take on the the term Paramedical therapist is ‘it’s a US derived term that doesn’t translate here in Australia, but at this stage, with the limited regulations we have here, no one can tell them not to call themselves this’, meaning until regulated, Paramedical Therapist is a valid term to call one who has completed a number of Advanced classes in skin, body, health, hair and nutrition.

Due to the confusion between titles and qualifications, ‘there is a call for the correct titles to be used from certain societies & Allied Health bodies’.

So where to from here, we ask Jennifer? “All we can do is keep educating practitioners about what their formal qualification states, because this is their true title”.

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